Determining fault is a speculative job. it all depends on the perspective of the person who is judging. What position they are in or have been in will greatly impact how they view who is at fault for a sequence of events. I know personally I believe the company is in the wrong and so is CBS Corporate. 1 have parents who used to smoke heavily and knew of the dangers. They quit when my sister and l were young, They knew the purpose of cigarettes and weren’t totally ignorant to them as Wigand believes many are.
Though Wigand‘s intentions were good and so were those of the “60 Minutes” producers, they were exposing and saying what was already known by the public in that tobacco companies sought to put out the best product possible for the consumer to have their nicotine. Wigand was doing good by exposing the tobacco companies’ fault but his falling on the sword was unnecessary.
He sacrificed his own safety from the courts, his marriage, and his potential relationship with his kids to do this and all for CBS corporate to scare 60 Minutes into not showing it for a long time The team at corporate was wrong for doing so They wrecked Wigand’s life by threatening 60 Minutes with big lawsuits from the tobacco companies.
60 Minutes chose not to air the interview with Wigand and Lowell Bergman, the main guy in 60 Minutes behind the story, was furious because he gained the trust of Wigand and they now were not even going to air the interview over which he had to go to court and lost a marriage and time with his kids.
A long war of words ensued and Lowell eventually leaked to the Wall Street Journal what had been going on inside of CBS. This brought massive outrage that the respected 60 Minutes was cowering to the demands of corporate and not telling the news as it is like they claim to. So when it comes to the production of the show I believe Wigand and Lowell were right to do what they did and corporate was wrong to try and stop them When it comes to the actual events that were transpiring though morally I believe that Wigand was right to do what he did, I don‘t believe he needed to fall on the sword as badly as he did, i believe he very well could have released the same information without revealing himself and his face and conveyed the same message If Lowell had from the start been thinking of the safety of everyone involved and put that first over having a better story for himself then the situation may have been far bettert.
There was no need for WIgand to be taped in an interview with his face and voice showing, Many times on 60 Minutes there have been whistleblowers without showing their face but still tell in incredible detail what is happening. I watched a 60 Minutes piece on the Wounded Warrior Project and their ridiculous unnecessary spending and they had two employees on the segment \and neither of their faces nor voices were distinguishable and the interview with them was just as powerful as the one of another employee who showed his face and name and spoke with his normal voice being heard, It’s not that what Wigand and Lowell did was wrong, it’s just that as I look at it more and more there was absolutely no need to show Wigand’s face on the air they could have easily covered his face or pointed the camera elsewhere and masked his voice and then had him speak and there would have been no issue as it cannot be proven that it was.
Wigand without CBS saying anything, I agree with the idea behind what was done by 60 Minutes and Wigand but do not believe the execution was as good as it could have been, Though what Wigand and Lowell did was good, their execution was far from what I would have chosen The actions of Brown and Williamson are detestable at best and their punishment along with other big tobacco companies was justified. I believe that Wigand did a huge good for society by whistleblowing and Lowell was a good person for working tirelessly to get the interview on to the air I would not have done the interview the way they did, I would have done it “anonymously” to try and avoid as many legal complications as possible but in the end big tobacco was exposed and awareness was raised and they faced stiff legal fees so I see their endeavor as having been worth it for the greater good.